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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Marked Down But Not Giving It Out

    | Helsinki, Finland | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (It is the 1990s. We have ‘marks’ as our currency. I work in the grocery store, and my duty is to sell fish and other seafood. A women approaches me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, can you change this thousand mark bill into one 500, four 100′s,one 50, four 10′s and ten coins of 1 mark?”

    Me: “I’m sorry madam, I can’t. I don’t have a cash register here at all and I’m afraid that even cashiers aren’t allow to change a thousand mark bill, because it is early in the Saturday morning and we need to have small change in our cash registers. But there’s no harm asking; the cash registers are over there.”

    Customer: “No, no, I meant that can you change this from your own money?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m a college student and work here only part time and since I’ve just paid my rent, I don’t even have that kind of a money in my bank account.”

    Customer: “I’m not interested what you have or don’t have in your bank account. I want you to change this for me. Take the money from your pockets.”

    Me: “Well, as I don’t have that kind of the money in my bank account, unfortunately I don’t have that kind of money in my pockets, either.”

    Customer: “I don’t believe you. Show me your pockets!”

    Me: *showing* “As you can see, the only thing in my pocket is this handkerchief.”

    Customer: “But you are a woman, you surely have a hand bag, don’t you?”

    Me: “Well, yes I do.”

    Customer: “So, where is it?”

    Me: “It’s in my locker, in our locker room.”

    Customer: “So, why won’t you go to your hand bag and fetch the money from there?”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t leave, because I’m the only seller here right now, and it wouldn’t be any use anyway. I can assure you that I don’t have 1000 marks in my purse either.”

    Customer: “So, why do you work here if you can’t even help a customer by changing my bill into a smaller bills and coins?”

    Me: “I work here because I need to finance my studies.”

    Customer: “Some fine financing! I can’t believe you won’t be able, or willing, to help me out!”

    A Moment Of Kindness Is Unquantifiable

    | Forest, VA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Themed Giveaway, Top

    (Our point of sale has crashed, meaning we can not accept cash. My coworker is in the back trying to fix it. Meanwhile, I am in the front handling more customers than I’ve seen my entire shift, while having to turn away those who don’t have cash. A woman walks in and orders a hot chocolate.)

    Me: “What size can I get for you?”

    Woman: “Just a small.”

    Me: “One moment; I will figure out what that will cost.”

    (The woman looks around at the other impatient customers, reaches in her wallet and hands me a $10.)

    Woman: “It looks like you’ve had a rough night. You can figure it out whenever you get the chance and keep the rest as tip.”

    Me: “No, ma’am! Really! That’s too much! It will only take a second!”

    Woman: “It’s really okay. Please keep it.”

    (That’s more than I normally make in tips in a week. I never saw the woman again.)

    She Crossed The Line

    | New England, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Top

    (I am a customer at my regular hardware supply store, which most local contractors have accounts at. I’m standing in a large queue at the cash register with a few items for a job I’m working on. The customer in front of me seems annoyed and is asking many questions about a special light bulb for her house.)

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, from what you’ve told me, I don’t think that particular bulb will work with your fixture. However, the row of bulbs above where you got it will work!”

    Customer #1: *more annoyed* “So, I have to pick out another one? Can you at least show me?”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, I can’t leave the register right now. But [employee's name] can help you.”

    (She points to her coworker twenty feet away in the lighting section. The customer begins heading there, but first asks…)

    Customer #1: “Will I have to stand in line again?”

    (The cashier and I look at each other and shrug, so we both wait out of courtesy. However, the customer is gone for quite awhile although the aisle she went to is very close, so the cashier decides to help me first. However, halfway through my transaction, Customer #1 comes back and goes straight to the front of the line.)

    Customer #1: “Excuse me! I believe I was first!”

    Cashier: “Oh! ma’am. I’m sorry. You were gone for a while, and he only had a few items and I thought-”

    Customer #1: “Whatever! Just ring me up!”

    (The cashier nervously looks at me and I nod that it’s okay for her to go first. By now, there are at least six people standing in the queue behind me. The cashier begins to ring her up.)

    Customer #1: “You know, that was really rude! You should all be more helpful here!”

    Me: “Ma’am, she was only doing her job. This is a small business and they are very courteous and helpful here.”

    Customer #1: *turns around to me* “I don’t care! They need to be more efficient and shouldn’t be so rude. I’m on my break. I don’t have time for this!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m a contractor, I lose money for every minute I am away from the worksite. Your time is no more valuable than anyone else, and [cashier's name] works very hard and is very good at her job.”

    Customer #1: “Wuh-well… I was only saying that so they know that they are wasting a customer’s time!”

    (A customer behind me interrupts her.)

    Customer #2: “Hey, lady! We’re all contractors. You are wasting our time and money!”

    (Everyone else in line verbally and visibly motions in agreement. The first customer finishes her transaction and quickly leaves, embarrassed. The cashier was so thankful she went and told the store manager who gave everyone in the queue a keychain flashlight for free. I love that store! Remember to support your local businesses!)

    Related:
    They Crossed A Line

    Would Make A Great Book One Day

    | Moncton, NB, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a cashier in a book store during the holiday season. It’s just me and one other cashier working the registers as it’s a slow afternoon. One woman walks up and asks to do a return on a book. As my coworker is authorized for returns, she goes ahead and takes over.)

    Coworker: “Alright Ma’am, I just need the receipt and the book you’re returning.”

    (The customer places a bag on the counter and hands the receipt to my co-worker. The coworker scans the receipt and start the return transaction.)

    Coworker: “And what would be the reason you’re returning this book?”

    (As she’s asking the question, she’s pulling the book out of the bag to inspect it before furthering the transaction. Upon seeing the book, she finds it is in fact extremely damaged. Before the customer can respond to the first question, my coworker speaks on the company’s policies.)

    Coworker: “…I’m sorry Ma’am, but we can’t take this book back, as it’s not in resellable condition.”

    Customer: “You have to take it back! You’ve got the receipt and you’ve got the book. Now do my return and give me my money!”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry Ma’am, but it’s company policy that we can not take any merchandise back that is not in re-sellable condition, unless it is found to be defective.”

    Customer: “Well then, that book is defective! Look at it—the cover is mangled and the pages are stuck together!”

    (Clearly this book has been mishandled before it was brought to be returned.)

    Coworker: “Again, Ma’am, we can not take this book because we can not put it back on the shelves.”

    Customer: “Get me your manager!”

    (My coworker complies with this and pages our manager up to cash. The manager arrives and my co-worker explains what is going on. My manager then reiterates what my coworker told the customer.)

    Customer: “No! You have to take it back. You have the receipt and you have the book! Now give me my money!”

    Manager: “Miss, as we’ve already said, we can not do that as this book is not in resellable condition.”

    Coworker: “Fine! If you won’t take it back, then I’ll make you take it!”

    (The customer then proceeds to rip the book from my coworker’s hands and tears it into pieces. She then proceeds to take the chunks from the book and throw them at my manager. The customer then storms out of the store.)

    Me: “Well… that was sure interesting.”

    A Tale Of Faulty Thieves

    | ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Top

    (A family, wife, husband and teenage daughter, bring items to my till, and I start to scan them.)

    Father: “We’re not done yet!”

    Me: “Oh…”

    (They leave their items at my counter and continue to look around. Any time they see something they want, they bring it to my counter and then leave again. It is not busy, so I just scan and bag the items as they drop them off. They finally come with the last item, totaling their bill to over $200.)

    Father: “Is everything done?”

    Me: “Well, it’s not paid for.”

    Father: “I know that! Is it all scanned!?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Father: *to his wife and daughter* “Okay, you guys can take this stuff out to the car then.”

    Me: “Oh, actually, you have to pay first before you leave the store with the items.”

    Father: “EXCUSE ME!?”

    Me: “You can’t leave the store with unpaid merchandise.”

    Father: “You calling me a thief!?”

    Me: “No, I’m just telling you that you have to pay first.”

    Father: “I don’t have to pay before I take your items! I’m a customer!” *to his daughter* “Take the stuff to the car!”

    Me: “Please don’t.”

    (The daughter is now confused and throws her arms up in the air in frustration.)

    Father: “Don’t you tell my daughter what to do!”

    Me: “Um, she can’t leave the store without unpaid merchandise.”

    Father: “You think my card is going to decline!?”

    Me: “I don’t know, but you still have to pay first.”

    (The father rams his card into the machine and stomps his fingers on the keypad. It declines.)

    Me: “It didn’t go through.”

    Father: “This is ridiculous!” *he rams his card up the machine again*

    Me: “You have to wait until the machine is ready.”

    (He rips his card out of the machine and then rams it up the machine again, and hits the buttons extremely hard. It approves and he starts to storm off without his receipt. Then he comes storming back and rips the receipt out of my hand and points to me.)

    Father: “YOU WERE CALLING ME A THIEF!”

    Me: “No, I wasn’t. No one lets customers leave a store with unpaid merchandise!”

    Father: “I am a paying customer! You should be fired for accusing me of stealing! This is the worst customer service I have ever had!” *storms off again*


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